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on thumbnail images below to enlarge).
Southern Avenue, Bradbury Heights, MD
was originally located above the Washington, Marlboro &
Annapolis (WM&A) bus passenger terminal at 1510 Southern
Ave. on the border of SE, DC & Bradbury Heights, MD.
Southern Avenue, Coral Hills, MD
subsequently moved a few miles away to the WM&A bus
repair facility at 4421 Southern Ave on the border of SE, DC &
Coral Hills, MD. In 1954, it moved again to a new transmitter
site at 6369
Walker Mill Road in Oakland, MD.
1954 - 1956
Kelly Ct., Morningside, MD
data collected from the FCC's Official Records at the National
Archives in College Park, the exact latitudinal (38° 50' 29")
and longitudinal (76° 53' 31") coordinates of the original
WPGC-AM transmitter and tower site from 1954-56 has been located
with the use of GPS technology. The lo-resolution photo above
on the right was taken with a cell phone at dusk in the rain.
exact spot is on the Morningside
/ District Heights border on Dottie Kelly Court off Anton Dr.,
off Walters Lane. Respecting the privacy of the residents, the
actual street address is not given here. With the aid of a U.S.
Geological Survey map from 1950, the paved and dirt roads leading
to the site still exist (though all are now paved), directly in
the heart of a residential development that sits on the farm once
owned by Duval B. Evans,
whom WPGC founder, Harry Hayman
leased the land for the station.
150 feet diagonally behind the house are rusty metal spikes in
the ground that were used to support the original 150 foot tower's
site was abandoned in 1956. In order to raise power on the AM,
a directional pattern necessitated erecting multiple towers. Ground
conductivity beneath the site was poor due to sedimentation consisting
primarily of rock. Whatsmore, access to the site (where the studio
was also located) was particularly difficult in winter months
on a muddy road.
WPGC-AM was granted permission by the FCC to build its new three
tower array on the property where WBUZ-FM's
tower was located at 6369
Walker Mill Road while
the AM studios moved to the space previously occupied by WRNC-FM
(formerly, WBUZ-FM) above
the Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis (WM&A) bus
repair facility at 4421
Southern Ave. in Coral Hills, directly across the street from
1954 - 1956
Baltimore Boulevard, Hyattsville, MD
original studios, tower and transmission site were located on
an isolated field on the edge of Morningside, not readily accessible
by on-air guests or clients alike. Wanting to have a more visible
presence within the business community in the heart of PG County,
in December, 1954, WPGC opened new auxiliary studios in Hyattsville.
originating from Hyattsville was relayed back to Morningside
for broadcast. The auxiliary location was abandoned in 1956
when WPGC leased the studio and office space vacated by WRNC-FM
- June, 1965
Southern Avenue, Coral Hills, MD
In 1956, WPGC-AM moved to the WM&A bus repair facility
Coral Hills (outside the city limits of Morningside but were
allowed to continue to identify themselves as being in Morningside)
inherited the studios previously occupied by WRNC-FM (formerly,
WBUZ-FM) which by then
had relocated to the transmitter site at 6369
Walker Mill Road in Oakland, MD.
a couple of vintage shots from within the WPGC studios in Coral
1965 - October, 1980
5801 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg,
(301) 779 - 2100
On June 28th, 1965, the stations were granted a modification of
their licenses to move studios to Bladensburg, MD. New offices
& studios were located in the Parkway Building adjacent
to the Baltimore Washington Parkway, 5801 Annapolis Road,
Landover Heights, MD (adjacent to Bladensburg), occupying the
third floor of a multi story office building which opened in 1965.
It was once an attractive office complex, highly typical of commercial
architecture associated with the era.
Guy DJ Todd Reynolds
/ Ed Kowalski / Ed McNeil writes:
the years, the town of Cheverly expanded its boundaries, and included
the territory once occupied by the Parkway Building. A "For
Sale" banner over the building told interested parties to
contact the Town of Cheverly should they wish to buy. The town
had owned the property, including the building to the rear, for
several years. Since the prospects of a buyer became virtually
nil, the town decided to raze both buildings and turn the land
into a community park.
Guy DJ Alexander Goodfellow
drove by 5801 Annapolis Road during Memorial Day weekend 2004
when I was home in Cheverly visiting my Ma. It's not there, it's
to Skip McCloskey of the WRC
tribute site (who as a teenager won too many contests to mention
from WPGC and picked up his prizes in the Parkway Building)
for the demolition photos above.
are various shots taken in the Bladensburg studios.
1980 - Summer 2000
Ivy Road, Suite
#800, Greenbelt, MD
(301) 441 - 3500
October, 1980 after nearly 15 years in the Parkway Building,
the station moved several miles away to state of the art studios
high atop the Capital Beltway near the Kenilworth Avenue
exit in Greenbelt. WPGC was the first
tenant on the top (8th) floor in the first of an eventual three
identical office buildings, all of which are still in use today.
the media invitation to new studios - September, 1980.
Elliott & Woodside
about the new studios.
some shots from the Newsroom / Production studio
from the control room. The
two studios faced each other.
Southern Avenue, Bradbury Heights, MD
original transmitter was located on the property adjacent to the
Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis (WM&A) bus line
Southern Ave. in Bradbury Heights. On October 13th, 1951,
a tower guy wire was cut in an act of vandalism during a work
dispute with transit workers. The station returned to the air
with a free standing tower a few miles away at 6369
Walker Mill Road in the new development of Oakland, Maryland.
Walker Mill Road, Oakland, MD
June 18th, 1981 authorization from the FCC was granted to change
the transmitting location of WPGC - AM & FM from 6369 Walker
Mill Road to 5526 Walker Mill Road. The change of sites occured
on December 21st, 1981.
Walker Mill Road, District
(301) 736 - 7730
The transmitter site is located not far from the Coral Hills studios.
The antenna can be seen from Pennsylvania Ave., approaching the
Beltway near the DC / PG line.
WPGC transmitter was manned all the way into the '80s. I believe
it was the last DC radio station to have transmitter engineers
doing regular shifts. You had to have a First Class Radio-Telephone
license (so called "First Ticket") to work at that site.
It was a huge goal for me in High School to work at one of the
TV networks during my summer after high school.
for me, I got passed over to be ready for the call from Smitty
who hired me to do some fill in. I remember that I ultimately
worked four shifts a week - the ones left over when everybody
had worked their 40 hours. My job at the end of my shift Sunday
night was to bring the time sheets to Bladensburg so they'd be
ready for Chris Fisher to
do payroll on Monday. She was a really nice lady.
the Transmitter Building
thanks to Jeff Loughridge for the transmitter shots above).
Building & Towers
on thumbnails images below to see enlargements. All shots are
from the present day transmitter facility at 5526 Walker Mill
Road in District Heights.
Loughridge, present day Chief Engineer at WPGC writes:
tall tower above is the FM, but the two shorter towers were the
array for the AM when it was 10 kW. We replaced the rear tower
in 1996 to allow more rental space, but it is still viable as
an AM tower. I plan on re-licensing the site as a backup, and
will recommission that tower for the array. The front short tower
was also part of the WPGC AM array, but is now used for WYCB.
I could put WPGC on it in a heartbeat in an emergency, if necessary.
the transmitters themselves:
Loughridge: Believe it or not, the original CCA parallel
transmitters, from 1969 (mono) and 1972 (stereo) respectively,
were running 24/7 until they were retired in 2004 with another
McGinley, Chief Engineer of WPGC 1984 - 2000 adds:
transmitters are now legends. Smitty was going to replace them
in 1983 just before he left. 20 years later they were still kickin'
the audio chain:
Loughridge: I think Smitty's air chain included a Burwen
noise eliminator, Two Dorrough DAP-610's, and a few other boxes
I can't remember. Nothing was stock, and everything was modified
or Joe Nunemaker,
I think. The EMT plate reverb was traded to WAVA for a triple
deck cart machine about 1984 or 85.
McGinley: In its last incantation, Smitty's
chain consisted of an AGC box at the studio hitting the Moseley
STL's, then at the transmitter, a Burwen noise reducer, a Gehron
stereo enhancer, the plate reverb, then twin Durrough DAP 610
multiband compressors feeding an Optimod 8100 and finally an MSI
The idea was to build up density and a "wall of sound"
with the multiband compression, and added "punch" by
tweaking the equalization. Loudness was augmented by the clipper.
The stereo enhancer produced a wider "surround sound"
stereo image and the noise reducer skimmed off backgroud cart
tape hiss and noise. Every box had a defined "raison d'etre"
After the station moved to Greenbelt, the drive in to DC to pick
up the mail became a chore, especially since the neighborhood
had deteriorated so much. The address was changed to:
ADams 2 - 1738
switchboard number while in Coral Hills.
request line number while in Coral Hills.
Dial-A-Good-Guy number in the 1960s, a Hyattsville number.
The request / contest line in the Maryland exchange SPruce
9 that served Bladensburg where WPGC's studios were located.
In 1973, all local stations switched over to the special, high
volume 432 exchange designed to handle mass calling associated
with contests, etc.
special line installed in 1982 for the 'Cash
& Gold Sweepstakes'
fictious number used in 1982 with the 'E.T.
Phone Home' promotion.
In 1983 with the AM barely making the ratings book, the request
line was changed to reflect the FM frequency.
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